Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Set to Drive Business Opportunities as Investment in Renewables Reaches Record High

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  • World’s Largest Sustainability Gathering for Policy, Business, Academic and Technical Leaders
  • UAE Leads the Way for Sustainable Energy, Water Security, Waste Management Focus is on Practical Steps to Achieve Sustainability
Mr. AbdulRahman Naql Al Bastaki, Communications and Media Manager, ADWEA; His Excellency Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of Tadweer; Mr. Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.

Abu Dhabi-UAE: The 2017 edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is on track to be the most important in the event’s history for driving commercially focused action, said industry leaders at a press event today.

Hosted by Masdar, the forthcoming ADSW theme is ‘Practical Steps Towards a Sustainable Future’. The week’s anchor event, the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a strong focus on technology, innovation and finance. The rapidly falling cost of renewable energy has transformed the business case for the ‘green economy’, unlocking an increasing number of investment opportunities.

Last year, global investment in renewables reached an all-time high of nearly 300 billion US dollars. Competitive bids for solar energy projects in the UAE have twice broken records for the lowest price for solar power generation at less than 3 US cents per kilowatt-hour.

Renewable energy, including solar energy and wind, is now widely seen as having reached the critical mass needed to complement conventional energy sources in the global energy mix. Recent bids represent an enormous fall in price from around 8 to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour at the end of 2014, which is encouraging established energy companies to diversify and increase investment in renewable projects.

“I am honoured to say that ADSW has consistently delivered on motivating global action for a more sustainable future,” said Mr. Mohamed Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, host of the event. “This is reinforced by the strong momentum in the renewable energy sector, which has achieved commercial viability, and is now recognised as a mature, mainstream industry. This year’s ADSW will continue to build on the event’s unique ability to enable dialogue between policy makers, business and academia, bringing collaboration and shared actions across the interconnected dependencies of energy, water and waste.”

First held in 2008, WFES is firmly established as the leading event for green energy investors, buyers and vendors across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as South Asia. The four-day event will host leading decision makers from major renewables markets including Saudi Arabia, India, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and the UAE – countries with more than 200 gigawatts worth of sustainable energy projects in the pipeline.

Bookings show the event is likely to host around 880 companies from 40 countries. More than 50% of exhibitors at the event are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from leading clean tech nations including Germany, France, Japan, China, the USA and the UK, further illustrating the commercial dynamism and maturity of the sector.

Energy is the centrepiece of the UAE’s expanding green economy. Renewable energy projects already announced or developed in the UAE will amount to 7% of installed capacity by 2020. This in turn is pushing investment in new, energy efficient desalination methods to secure the nation’s water supply. In addition, waste management targets aim to divert 75 per cent of waste from landfill by 2021.

ADSW 2017 will see the return of important co-located events that promote a complete cycle of sustainability, including the 5th International Water Summit, supported by Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), and the 4th EcoWASTE exhibition and conference, held in partnership with Tadweer, The Center of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi (CWM).

“Our strategy is focused on renewables, and that needs to be the case with both of our core businesses: water and electricity,” said His Excellency, Eng. Mohammed Bin Jarsh, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company. “Our water supply relies on desalination, most of which is achieved through co-generation, using the waste heat from thermal power stations to evaporate seawater. Alongside our commitment to solar energy, our future investments in water desalination will therefore need to use new technologies, such as the latest advances in reverse osmosis, to meet growing demand and ensure a truly sustainable water supply.”

The International Water Summit (IWS) is a global platform for promoting water sustainability in arid regions by bringing together world leaders, field experts, academics and business innovators to accelerate the development of new sustainable strategies and technologies.

EcoWASTE is an international platform for promoting sustainable waste management practices and recycling, and is the region’s largest gathering for waste management and recycling professionals. Held under the slogan ‘From Waste to Resource’, EcoWASTE aims to support the region’s urgent waste disposal challenges in the quest for sustainable development and environmental protection.

“EcoWASTE is an ideal platform for knowledge and best practices exchange, along with launching new technologies and projects for waste management,” said H.E. Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of Tadweer. “We strongly believe that the organisation of this exhibition enables the future strategic planning framework locally and regionally; EcoWASTE highlights the challenges and opportunities within the waste management industry, and helps us find the ideal options to transform waste into economic drivers.”

ADSW 2017 exhibitions and conferences are expecting 38,000 attendees from 175 countries. That represents a threefold increase since its inaugural edition in 2008, and a strong indicator of the green economy’s growth and the event’s success in supporting businesses as the commercial environment matures.

“When we partnered with Masdar on the World Future Energy Summit in 2009, we understood that our role was to help create an active global market in Abu Dhabi for policy, science and business to forge partnerships and innovation in sustainable technology through our international network in over 50 countries, and we have consistently built on that purpose,” said Mr. Ara Fernezian, Group Managing Director – Middle East, at Reed Exhibitions, the event organizer for WFES, IWS and EcoWASTE.

With the development of the industry and the launch of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week by Masdar, IWS was launched in 2013 in strategic partnership with ADWEA, and EcoWASTE was launched in 2014, in strategic partnership with Tadweer, to connect energy, water and waste management for a sustainable future.

“The events in 2017 will engage global industry partners and professionals, through a bespoke business matchmaking programme that brings buyers and sellers together to drive the industry’s development,” added Mr Fernezian.

About Masdar:

Masdar is Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of clean energy technologies and solutions. The company serves as a link between today’s fossil fuel economy and the energy economy of the future. Backed by the Mubadala Development Company PJSC, the strategic investment company of the government of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is dedicated to the Emirate’s long-term vision for the future of energy.

About Tadweer:

Tadweer is the main government body responsible for all activities related to the development of waste management & pest control services, such as waste collection, transport, treatment, and safe, efficient, and economical disposal thereof, besides combating pests which would cause prejudice to public health in various parts of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Tadweer spares no effort in providing support and assistance for all events and occasions through which Tadweer aims at educating the community on the importance of environmental conservation and encouraging them to exercise and adopt the proper environmental behaviour that would advance sustainable development.

About ADWEA:

Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority researches and develops ways to achieve more efficient power and water production, distribution, and consumption. Founded in 1998, ADWEA is a financially and administratively independent organization.  A key focus for us is sustainability-planning for growth while creating social, economic, and environmental balance. Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority and its subsidiaries also help create jobs and train future leaders.

About Reed Exhibitions:

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser.  With a unique network of offices and international sales promoters, our market reach is extensive: in 2015 over 7 million participants attended our events.  We have a growing portfolio of over 500 events in 50 countries, including trade and consumer exhibitions, conferences and meetings, ranging across 43 industry sectors – from aerospace and aviation to beauty and cosmetics to sports and recreation.  Reed Exhibitions delivers contacts, content and communities with the power to transform your business.

About World Future Energy Summit:

The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) is the world’s most influential event dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology.  Held each year at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, WFES is hosted by Masdar Institute. The WFES 2016 exhibition and conference saw 650 companies from 40 countries, and more than 32,000 attendees from 170 countries participate.

About Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017:

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is the ground-breaking global forum that unites thought leaders, policy makers and investors to address the challenges of renewable energy and sustainable development. With the global population set to reach nine billion by 2050, ADSW promotes collaborative thinking and development to accelerate the sustainable solutions needed to support rapid economic and population growth. An Abu Dhabi government initiative, ADSW is the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East and a significant forum in stimulating international dialogue and action.